Gary Snyder, Angels of America’s Fallen Board of Directors, Treasurer
Gary Snyder has been active with Angels of America’s Fallen since 2016 after his wife Nancy saw a prime visual marketing tool roaming his neighborhood.
“Nancy saw the Angels truck in our neighborhood,” Gary said of his first exposure to Angels of America’s Fallen. “We live a few doors away from Joe and Shelli (Lewis). Nancy looked up Angels on the internet and saw what the goals of the organization were. We said that helping the children of our fallen heroes was something worth devoting time to. We started out volunteering – just helping out where we could. Nancy volunteered to do data entry for them and we both helped with local events. As we became more familiar with all of the staff, volunteers and Angels, our commitment grew.”
From not knowing anything about Angels when the CEO and founder lived just a few doors down, Gary has now served on the Angels board since 2018 as its treasurer. Nancy also works part-time for Angels.
Gary understands the level of sacrifice required of military and first responders and hopes to be able to give back, in a small but important way, to the children of those who have provided so much.
“Working with Angels has really made me stop and think about the news stories we hear all too frequently about someone in the military or in law enforcement who has passed away,” Gary said. Did they leave behind a spouse and children? What steps are being taken to help these folks? Will the children grow up with a mentor or coach who will speak into their lives like the fallen parent would have? Does the spouse have support from the service or the community? Are they able to make ends meet?”
Gary fully understands the mission scope.
“I have also become aware of the magnitude of the need,” Gary said. “Conservatively, just for the military, there are well over 16,000 kids that would qualify for the Angels program. So much need.”
Gary met Nancy while she was stationed in his hometown of Wichita, Kan., as an Air Force missile crew commander. Gary and Nancy moved around the country for Nancy’s various Air Force assignments. During this time Gary enjoyed a wide variety of jobs including: attending firefighter and EMT training, working offshore on oil rig equipment, working on railroad equipment, running an Air Force base thrift shop and administrative work in manufacturing and retail businesses. Gary also completed an associate degree in accounting from Allan Hancock College to supplement his bachelor’s degree in natural resource management from Colorado State University.
In 2001 Gary began working for The Navigators, a world-wide Christian missionary organization as a corporate accountant. He completed his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Regis University and became a senior corporate accountant. In 2014 Gary was asked to be a business systems analyst for The Navigators focusing on financials and security in the systems that utilize software as a service (SAAS).
When asked how he would describe the Angel volunteer family, Gary responded with, “The volunteer family is a joy to work with. Everyone puts the needs of these kids first. We work together using our time, talents and treasure while having the best time. When you work with people who are dedicated to honoring our fallen, helping their children, and doing it with selfless devotion, well, you just don’t find better people anywhere.”
Gary’s advice to anyone looking to volunteer with Angels is try it out, find your niche, and realize that your time is a gift. He sees his biggest impact for the Angels being his ability to offload some administrative tasks from the staff so they can concentrate on the broader messaging.
“My biggest impact for Angels has been taking some of the administrative load off of the people whose time is better spent getting the story of Angels of America’s Fallen out there,” Gary said. “There is a place for everyone to help with Angels – no matter what your gifts and talents are. In a turbulent world, it feels good to be able to give back to those whose sacrifice is beyond measure.”